Not Daring Enough
Is it just us, or is there a return of instrumental post-(insert modifier here)? A few years back, there were plenty of noise duos, but here we are with trios or more. It all blew up with bands like Isis or Explosions in the Sky, but then started to get progressively more doom—and more progressive all together. It’s tempting to throw Brooklyn-based Sannhet into the bunch. However, with the brutishness of early black-metal, a drop of contemporary djent and some screeching atmospheric drone, Sannhet separates itself from the pack, if marginally. Sannhet’s debut release, Known Flood, is proof of this.
“Absecon Isle” starts with paleo-drum chugging à la “Bleed for Ancient Gods” by an early Amon Amarth—or a poor man’s doom-ier “Sacrifice Unto Sebek” of classic Nile. Note the black or death groups in the comparison: but Sannhet has a distinct melodic link to those bands (besides the drum-sanity). Think of this as something like a faux-ancient leaning, like you’re walking through an Indo-European Thracian market where half-naked prostitutes, hand-crafted rugs and the finest wines the world has ever known are all for sale while gladiators battle for the glory of their gods. This best comes through in the tracks, “Moral” and “Slow Ruin,” where the feral banging reaches both high-velocity Viking slashing and slothful bronze-age cudgeling. This seems to be sort of the template of Known Flood: crushing speed—halt!– doom chug—halt!—etc. But, it doesn’t get boring. Just like electronic music, everybody loves the drop, right?
The album ends with its most experimental sections, and arguably the most interesting. “Haunches” tramples you like High On Fire huffing from cans of Earth and Boris. A harrowing barrage of indecipherable Jacob Bannon-esque vocals are washed in the mix, but aren’t lost, while the final two tracks reach their doom zenith. “Still Breathing” presents a plodding bassline with light chordal droning over an old, static-y sample of some dude giving a speech (which is pretty typically “epic metal,” to be fair), but its pretentiousness is forgiven with a blast of sludge.
Known Flood closes with pure noise—something that is appreciated and welcome, as it’s probably the most daring part of the whole album. On the whole, it’s just not daring enough. There are parts that are awesome, but just as many parts that just remind you of stuff you’ve already heard. But, if this is your sort of thing, you’ll most likely love it. Known Flood isn’t ground breaking, but it’ll break the ground if your speakers are loud enough.